I need to be schooled on FLAC. (Help me understand)
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Connectz

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Okay, before coming here I thought I pretty much knew all there was to know about MP3's. Maaaaaan was I wrong. I usually rip my music at 192 or above (320 if I REALLY like the music) CBR. I use iTunes to rip. I always thought (without actually testing) that CBR sounded better than VBR and that it didn't matter which software I used to rip my music, just as long as it was 192 CBR or above.

Well, I have Vivaldi's Four Seasons in FLAC and it sounds so much bettter than any compressed music I have ever heard. Meaning I don't hear the compression artifacts.

My question to you all is what is the best ripping software to FLAC? What settings should I use? Can I make my iPod play FLAC? Is FLAC the best compression scheme or are there better sound quality wise compression schemes out there?

Does FLAC sound better than wav?

(I currently am using some BOSE QC2's which will be going back to the store today so I can trade them for some DT 880's. And I mainly listen to music on my 60gb iPod Video.)
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 11:36 AM Post #2 of 11

rincewind

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I'm in the process of converting my music to APE for the same reason.

APE and FLAC sound good because (not sure about flac) they are exactly the same data as the original WAVs. This is because instead instead of ditching the less "important" data like mp3 / ogg etc, they use algorithms the same way winzip zips up a word document.. it can't just go "hmm that bit looks less important.. don't need it!" cos they need to store all the info. Sort of the same with the JPG image. If u have a big, completely red square 16 pixels by 16 pixels, it won't store 16x16 bits of info. It will do something like: "this is all the same. Store the fact that it's 16 by 16 and just the colour red." So really just 3 pieces of data (simplest case)! Then it can completely recreate the picture in it's entirety (sp?) at the other end.

So to answer your question, APE and FLAC should technically sound AS good as the original WAV files, but it will never sound better because it can't create information that wasn't there to start with.
smily_headphones1.gif
Hope I haven't messed up the explanation or lead u up the garden path. If i have, someone else correct me! Enjoy.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 2:40 PM Post #3 of 11

Slogra

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There are 2 problems when you rip your CD with iTunes to mp3.
1. The reading of audio CD's is not accurate. Sometimes when a CD is dirty or scratched or misprinted, it can't be read correctly which might result in a pop or skip in the song.
Use EAC in secure mode instead.
2. The iTunes mp3 encoder is not the best quality.
Use the AAC (m4a) encoding or the Lame mp3 encoder instead.

If you rip with EAC to lame mp3 then the difference between mp3 and lossless might not be that big.


About lossless
All lossless formats will sound the same, because as the name says, no data is lost during conversion. Still you have to make sure the sound is read correctly from the cd in the first place... again EAC is best for this.

There are a lot of different lossless codecs, here are a few:
- FLAC (free lossless audio codec, my personal preference)
- APE (monkey audio)
- ALAC (compatible with your ipod?)
- wavpack (can encode to lossy as well as lossless)
- and a lot more.

The difference between them is not sound quality but:
- encoding speed
- decoding speed
- compatibility
- supported tags
- open source or not
- software license
- etc
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:50 PM Post #5 of 11

Oliver :)

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If you're using iTunes and want to use lossless with your iPod too, ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) is your best bet. And it is just a trip to iTunes prefs away. Welcome to the joyful world of lossless, Happy Re-encoding
evil_smiley.gif


Of course you can use any hyper correct ripper you like to create... AIFF would be nice since it supports tags, otherwise it's the same as WAV... which you can then transcode to ALAC using iTunes.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:53 PM Post #6 of 11

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Connectz
(I currently am using some BOSE QC2's which will be going back to the store today so I can trade them for some DT 880's. And I mainly listen to music on my 60gb iPod Video.)


Just noticed... boy, just 13 posts and this poor soul is alread on the slippery slope we call Head-Fi. Did someone properly greet you yet? Sorry about your wallet in any case
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 8:34 PM Post #7 of 11

Connectz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
Just noticed... boy, just 13 posts and this poor soul is alread on the slippery slope we call Head-Fi. Did someone properly greet you yet? Sorry about your wallet in any case
smily_headphones1.gif




LOL! Its cool. My wife understands that I am an electronics junkie. And not just any electronics will do for me. She knows I have expensive taste lol.

And wow. Its gonna take me a LONG time to re-encode all my cd's. Maybe I'll do a couple a day on my days off.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 8:58 PM Post #8 of 11

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Connectz
LOL! Its cool. My wife understands that I am an electronics junkie. And not just any electronics will do for me. She knows I have expensive taste lol.


I can see a lot of folks here feeling quite jealous reading that
wink.gif



Quote:

Originally Posted by Connectz
And wow. Its gonna take me a LONG time to re-encode all my cd's. Maybe I'll do a couple a day on my days off.


No worries. When ALAC became available for iTunes, I re-ripped my collection from 320kbps to the new format. It does not take nearly as long as ripping to MP3 or AAC, in fact it is almost "real time", as if you were just copying over the CD content.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 10:14 PM Post #9 of 11

Kwisatz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rincewind
Sort of the same with the JPG image. If u have a big, completely red square 16 pixels by 16 pixels, it won't store 16x16 bits of info. It will do something like: "this is all the same. Store the fact that it's 16 by 16 and just the colour red." So really just 3 pieces of data (simplest case)! Then it can completely recreate the picture in it's entirety (sp?) at the other end.


JPEG is a lossy image format, so its not exactly the best example to use - PNG would be a far better example of lossless compression for images.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 3:52 PM Post #11 of 11

GRhodes

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Is there an easy way to convert APE files to be played on a Creative portable? I have searched a good deal and this thread is the closest I have seen to addressing the issue. I did find some info on the web that stated that you can use Windows Media but I can't seem to figure out how.

Thanks in advance.
 

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